In Our Time

Ernest Hemingway

Chapter XIV

My Old Man

Big Two-Hearted River: Part I


Maera was lying still on the ground. The blood on him felt warm and sticky. The bull kept hitting him, sometimes with its head, sometimes with its horns. Finally, someone stopped the bull. A few men picked Maera up and carried him to the doctor. Maera could hear the shouting from the grandstand. Maera felt like things got bigger and bigger, then smaller and smaller. That happened again. After that, everything ran faster and faster. Then he died.


To show what World War I and its aftermath were really like, Hemingway must show gore and death. By delivering these from the perspective of the man dying, Hemingway includes the audience in the sick feeling of bleeding to death. At the same time, the crowds kept cheering and calling, which makes both Maera and the reader understand how little the masses care about an individual death, both in bullfighting and in war.

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On the Quai at Smyrna

by bhnnad, December 04, 2012

Sparknotes' commentary for On the Quai at Smyrna seems to have quite a few historical errors. The commentary states that the narrator is likely talking about the Greek evacuation of Thrace, but the title is On the Quai at Smyrna. Smyrna is a city in modern-day Turkey (now called Izmir). The Christian (mainly Greek and Armenian) part of Smyrna was burned in 1922 after the Turks recaptured the city from the Greeks. Hemingway was actually in Turkey just after the Great Fire to cover the Greco-Turkish War as a correspondent for the Toronto Star.... Read more


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